SM to renovate 100 cinemas in 2017

MANILA, Philippines – SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated (SMLEI), the lifestyle and entertainment solutions company of property giant SM Prime Holdings Incorporated, plans to renovate nearly 100 cinemas in 2017 in a bid to boost sales.

SMLEI president Edgar Tejerero said the company will start renovating 30-year-old cinemas located in 12 SM malls across the country, including SM North, SM Sta Mesa, SM Manila, SM Marikina, SM Cebu, SM Clark, SM Fairview, SM Mall of Asia and SM Cebu.

The renovation of these cinemas involve reconfiguring the cinema seats into one stadium instead of having two levels, which are the deluxe and premier.

"By next year, we will see a lot of changes in our big branches because SM Cinema was one of the first cinemas in the malls. By next year, we are changing a lot in terms of look, and set-up and concept," Tejerero said.

Aside from renovating existing cinemas, SMLEI is set to introduce new concepts in the cinema; Café Cinema and Children Cinema.

"In Café Cinema, moviegoers can have dinner or lunch date inside the cinema before watching a movie. We will give them an hour of eating time before they watch the movie,” Tejerero said.

Café Cinema will initially be built in SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.

For Children Cinema, the concept is to have a play area where children will be allowed to play for one hour before watching a movie.

“The program is different and will be suited for children. The structure will also be quite unique because we intend to have two big slides inside the auditorium,” Tejerero said.

At the same time, SMLEI is pushing through with its plan to build stand-alone cinemas in the provinces.

Tejerero said SMLEI is set to sign before the end of the year franchise agreement to build Blink cinemas two areas, in Bataan and Boracay.

“The rollout will continue as we have 17 interested franchisees for this project,” Tejerero said.

Under the plan, Blink Cinemas will have will house an average of two cinemas with seating capacity of 100 each.

Ticket prices would be pegged at P120 each. Franchise free is between P25 million to P30 million.

Aside from its cinema business, Tejerero said SMLEI will start constructing in 2017 a 1,600-seater New Performing Arts Theatre within Mall of Asia complex and a 14,000-seater Cebu Arena. –